How to tips for designing your book cover

Every day I learn more and more about what it takes to launch a book. 

Writing the story is just the beginning.

Even if you can afford a cover designer, the decision regarding the final visual product is yours. That’s a heavy responsibility.

That first impression can get a reader to stop, click and buy. First impressions are very important.

Should you design your book to blend with what you see on the bookshelf at Barnes & Noble? Or do you want your book to stand out from the crowd?


We all want our book to be eye-catching. To make the shopper, whether on Amazon or in a brick and mortar bookstore stop and look. And of course, hopefully, buy.

But there is a fine line I think in between something unique or something bizarre. The same with copying the latest trends in book covers. We run the risk of coming off too trendy if we mimic other authors.

So, with or without a designer, where do you start? As with any story, research.

  • Check out other books in your genre, on the Best Seller Lists (all of them).
  • Look at books by your favorite readers. What do you like, or dislike about those covers?
  • Consider the books that are in ebook and print form.

I fall in the DIY camp. It takes a lot more time and effort but can be done.

Like a cook, making a recipe handed down from her grandmother, I add a pinch of or dash of the following to bake up a beautiful (hopefully) cover:

  • An Illustrator located through a referral from a local writers group.
  • Free image editor (similar to Adobe) Sumo Paint
  • Adjust image size as needed (ie 300 dpi) with  by Windows 
  • Use ebook template to size and adjust book template with
  • For additional images free of copyrights I like and 

Trendy or Unique?

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. Just like each book and each story, it’s yours. Do the research and it your way! 

Check out Jo Robinson’s post on book covers.


What do you think? Trendy or Unique? Have you designed your own book cover? Are you in the midst of designing a cover? What programs or websites do you prefer to use to get the job done?

Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.

You can find me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jean.cogdell and, stop by and say hey! Please remember to with a click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.

Are you Timid, Nervous or Couragous?

I’ll admit, I fall somewhere between Timid Tammy and Nervous Nell.

For a positive, happy person, blowing my own horn is not easy. I don’t like to ask for help or favors. I’m a terrible salesperson. I believe in me, but  the idea that others might find value in what I’ve accomplished sounds a bit far-fetched.

Hiding behind a computer screen is a lot easier than speaking face-to-face with a group of strangers. I fumble with “the ask.”

I even found it difficult to help my daughter sell her Girl Scout Cookies. Now that’s just plain pitiful. I mean, who can’t sell GS cookies. Everyone loves them. But I ended up buying more than we sold. Of course loving the Peanutbutter patties helped.

I wonder, do all authors get a case of the jitters when it comes to selling their work?

Surely, I’m not the only writer out there who fears rejection. Maybe I’m not the only one who relates to the Lion in Oz.

I’m curious. Let me know where and how did you market your book?

Did you go to a local bookstore? Library? Call all your friends and relatives?

Spatter Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media sites?

What was your experience? Are you a good salesperson?

I found this article very encouraging, I hope you do too.

Opinion: Asking Takes Courage posted on ALLI November 16, 2015 by 


Talk to me in the comments and please remember to check me out at my @jeancogdell on Twitter and jean.cogdell on Facebook!

And don’t forget, pay it forward with a click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.


Do you want to connect with writers’ groups?

There are a lot of good groups on Facebook.

Keeping up with the helpful groups is so important. I can’t tell you how much I learn from other writers and groups such as the one Kelly Gurnett was so kind to put together in one place. A quick reference such as this can lead you to just the right nugget of information.

Take a look and see if you can find a group to will encourage and enhance your writing efforts. As she states this list was compiled by writers who said they could not live without these groups.

You’ll find everything from a writers life community, Kindle publishing, and my favorite, a call for submissions. With this FB Group you’ll never run out of places to send your writing.

Just in case you missed this, must have information, from The Write Life, here it is again.

16 Facebook Groups for Writers You Don’t Want to Miss By  August 28, 2015 

Now go out and mingle!

Readers, you’ve made it this far, and I thank you, so give me just two more seconds and hit Facebook and Twitter and share.

Thank you!

If you’re not already, I’d be much obliged if you would follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter or jean.cogdell on Facebook!


The Burst of the Social Media Bubble, Rise of the Indie Author & Why Coffee is to Blame

A reminder, I need to step up my game. I’ve neglected my Facebook page and my Tweets are pitiful. This afternoon I’m starting a new to do list.

Now, where did I put that list? Hmm…

The Burst of the Social Media Bubble, Rise of the Indie Author & Why Coffee is to Blame.

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